Mars Helicopter Goes to the Most Risky Flights
OREANDA-NEWS. Helicopter "Ingenuity" completed its main mission on Mars. Now he will be given additional tasks related to increasing the risk.
It will be recalled that Ingenuity arrived on the Red Planet along with the Perseverance rover in February 2021. On April 19, 2021, he took to the air for the first time, and by April 30 he had already completed four flights.
On the fourth flight, the drone updated the speed, range and flight duration records set in the third flight. Now he spent 117 seconds in the air and covered a distance of 266 meters (133 meters one way).
Ahead of "Ingenuity" is the fifth flight, in which the helicopter for the first time will have to land in a new place. Before that, he always returned to the same natural landing site.
To date, Ingenuity has already completed its main task: to prove by its example that helicopters can successfully fly the atmosphere of Mars. Therefore, if the fifth flight goes well, the mission will enter a new phase that was not originally planned.
At this stage, specialists will work out the interaction between the fast-moving aircraft and the slow-moving rover. Ingenuity will become a reconnaissance helicopter for the rover.
Now Ingenuity will take more photos and perform more maneuvers. Such a program carries much more risk to the aircraft, but since it has already completed the main task, the project leaders are willing to take risks.